Kings Blog

Kings have questionable point guard depth as training camp nears

Kings guard Darren Collison puts up a shot with Spurs defenders Jonathon Simmons, left, and Boris Diaw looking on during the teams’ meeting at Sleep Train Arena on Feb. 24.
Kings guard Darren Collison puts up a shot with Spurs defenders Jonathon Simmons, left, and Boris Diaw looking on during the teams’ meeting at Sleep Train Arena on Feb. 24. hamezcua@sacbee.com

When the Kings begin training camp practices Tuesday, one thing will not have changed from the offseason – Darren Collison is the only point guard with a fully guaranteed contract.

How the position shapes up is the most intriguing situation for the Kings, whose roster figures to change as the team explores whether to trade forward Rudy Gay, deals one of its many centers, or parts ways with another perimeter player before opening the regular season Oct. 26 at Phoenix.

Most teams avoid making trades during training camp, preferring to see how offseason acquisitions mesh and to wait until December, when players signed in the offseason can be dealt. But teams could pursue Gay, a proven scorer, if they need to replace an injured player or think they can get him at a bargain price before he tests free agency next summer.

The Kings have 14 fully guaranteed contracts and can keep a maximum of 15 players on the opening-night roster. That final spot likely will be used for a point guard if the Kings don’t make any trades.

Collison is the starter, but he is expected to be suspended by the NBA after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges this month. The Kings are prepared for Collison to miss some games to start the season, making the competition intense among point guards during training camp.

Veterans Ty Lawson and Jordan Farmar have non-guaranteed contracts, and rookie Isaiah Cousins has a partial guarantee for the season.

Lawson, 28, played well for the Nuggets before DUI arrests derailed his career. A trade to Houston didn’t work out, and Lawson finished the season with Indiana after being waived by the Rockets.

Farmer, 29, has played for four NBA teams, including 12 games for Kings coach Dave Joerger in Memphis. Farmar has averaged 7.7 points and 2.9 assists in 502 games.

A decision about which point guards make the roster could be tied to a trade of Gay, the starting small forward the Kings unsuccessfully shopped during the offseason, according to multiple league sources.

Gay told the team he will opt out of the final year of his contract after this season, forcing the Kings to continue pursuing a trade or risk losing him for nothing next summer.

But dealing Gay is no simple task, considering his plan to become an unrestricted free agent. His $13.3 million salary for this season is a relative bargain with the escalation of salaries during the offseason, but teams might be unwilling to part with quality players if they think Gay will depart after just one season.

The Kings also have plenty of big men behind All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins after picking another center, Georgios Papagiannis, in the first round of the NBA draft one year after selecting center Willie Cauley-Stein.

Veteran Kosta Koufos was expected to be traded, partly because he makes a little more than $8 million, a very affordable contract for a center who could be a serviceable starter or reliable backup.

Sacramento also has made shooting guard Ben McLemore, in the final year of his rookie contract, available for months, after acquiring Malachi Richardson in a draft-day deal and signing veteran Arron Afflalo.

McLemore’s playing time dropped to 21.2 minutes per game last season because the Kings opted to use Marco Belinelli more, even though Belinelli’s shooting percentage fell to a career low. The Kings dealt Belinelli to Charlotte for the rights to Richardson.

Sacramento also claimed swingman Lamar Patterson off waivers from Atlanta. His deal is not guaranteed, but he could see time at guard if he makes the team.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

Key dates for Kings

  • Monday: Training camp opens
  • Tuesday: First practice
  • Oct. 4: First preseason game, vs. L.A. Lakers, Anaheim, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 10: First home preseason game, vs. Maccabi Haifa, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 26: First regular-season game, at Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 27: First regular-season home game, vs. San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.

Kings roster

NAME

NO.

POS.

HT.

WT.

AGE

EXP.

Arron Afflalo

40

SG

6-5

210

30

9

Matt Barnes

22

SF

6-7

226

36

13

Omri Casspi

18

SF

6-9

225

28

7

Willie Cauley-Stein

00

C

7-0

240

23

1

Darren Collison

7

PG

6-0

175

29

7

DeMarcus Cousins

15

C

6-11

270

26

6

Isaiah Cousins

9

PG

6-5

195

22

R

Jordan Farmar

20

PG

6-2

180

29

9

Rudy Gay

8

SF

6-8

230

30

10

Kosta Koufos

41

C

7-0

265

27

8

Skal Labissiere

3

PF

6-11

225

20

R

Ty Lawson

10

PG

5-11

195

28

7

Ben McLemore

23

SG

6-5

195

23

3

Georgios Papagiannis

13

C

7-1

240

19

R

Lamar Patterson

31

SG

6-5

225

25

1

Malachi Richardson

5

SG

6-6

205

20

R

Garrett Temple

17

SG

6-6

205

30

6

Anthony Tolliver

43

PF

6-8

240

31

8

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